Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

VIETNAM, CET Vietnamese Studies & Service-Learning in Ho Chi Minh City

map of Vietnam

Program Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Duration: Fall or Spring
Program Dates

Flights should be not be booked based on the dates above. It is recommended to wait until the program has issued specific arrival information.

Map courtesy of CIA World Factbook

Program Overview

CET's Vietnam Immersion is a fifteen-week program based in Ho Chi Minh City and includes a ten-day study tour to north and central Vietnam. Students spend a majority of each term in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam’s largest and most market oriented city. An organized study is also included in the program, in which students travel to Hanoi in the north and to cities of historical and cultural interest in the central region, including Hue, Danang and Hoi An.

CET arranges activities for students each week, including visits to cultural and historical sites, performances, museums and art galleries. Special dinners, excursions, and other events involve Vietnamese roommates and provide our students with more opportunities to share time with their Vietnamese peers. CET students will travel on a ten-day study trip through north and central Vietnam, visiting the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi, other sites in the capital, and taking a day trip to Halong Bay. In the central region, students explore the history and architecture of Hue and Hoi An, investigate archeological vestiges of the ancient Cham civilization in My Son and Danang, and visit the DMZ, Bach Na national Park or the Phong Nha cave complex.

Throughout the program, students study Vietnamese language (10 hours per week), and undertake a required seminar that surveys contemporary Vietnam, a required independent research project or service learning placement, and one other core Vietnamese Studies class. For this class, students may pick from topics such as: Visual Anthropology & Media Studies, Modern Vietnamese History, Vietnam's Economic Development, the War with America, Vietnam's Environmental Issues and Vietnamese Literature. All of the special topic courses are taught in English by American or Vietnamese faculty.

CET students live with Vietnamese roommates in a student guesthouse. Students should expect simple but comfortable conditions in the guesthouse, including air-conditioning, private telephones, and ample space. A cafeteria in the guesthouse serves selected meals, but students commonly eat with fellow students and roommates at the downtown area’s many diverse restaurants, cafes and stalls. Students also occasionally have group meals in Ho Chi Minh City and on study trips. CET recommends that you budget at least $6-8 per day for food.

Clark Credit

Participating students receive the equivalent of four Clark units per semester (16 credits), provided all coursework is completed, all required exams are taken, and final papers are submitted. All courses receive letter grades, which show on the Clark transcript and are factored into the overall GPA. Required core courses are Society and State in Contemporary Vietnam and the service project or independent study, taught in English. Students also study Vietnamese language. Please check with the Study Abroad Office to ensure transferability of credit.


All applicants must fulfill Clark University's eligibility requirements. Students must also be prepared to fulfill the CET Vietnamese Studies & Service-Learning in Ho Chi Minh City program requirements. Applications may be rejected for any number of reasons by the overseas program.

Program Costs

Your student account will be billed for Clark tuition each semester that you are abroad. There is a one-time $1000 study abroad fee that will appear on your Clark tuition bill. Clark will pay your tuition/academic fees to CET. These include the service-learning project and activities, study tours and excursions organized by CET, transportation to program activities, emergency medical insurance, visa fees, on-site advising and office expenses. You will be billed by CET directly for your housing, and you will need to provide for your own meals (i.e. cooking or purchasing meals) if not provided. Books, non-academic fees, and travel expenses are your responsibility. You are also responsible for all of your personal expenses and for your pocket money while abroad. Remember that here might be a whole array of fees in Ho Chi Minh City for using the gym, clubs, computers, laundry, transportation, books, cell phones, etc. These fees vary from year to year and we recommend that you check the website of your host institution to see if further information is available. Any additional expenses related to individual courses, such as travel, are also your responsibility.

Studying off-campus always generates additional and unexpected expenses. If you are a financial aid recipient, you should continue to receive financial aid. However, be sure to check with the Office of Financial Assistance to see if there will be any changes in your financial aid package. You will not be able to receive Work-Study money while you are abroad. International Scholarships are granted to enrich the Clark campus with international students and cannot be applied to off-campus programs.

You will receive an invoice from Clark's Student Accounts Department, indicating that the tuition payment will be due by mid-July fall and mid-December for the spring. The exact due date will appear on your bill. Failure to satisfy your financial obligation to Clark University by the due date may result in your withdrawal from the program. Failure to satisfy your financial obligations to your host institution may result in no transcript being issued for your participation in their program.

Under NO circumstances will Clark University be responsible for independent travel you choose to participate in, which is not an official part of the Clark program. Clark will not assist in any personal travel arrangements.

Approximate additional costs per semester for 2014-15

  • Housing - $2700
  • Meals - $1800
  • *Personal Expenses - $1500
  • Air travel - $1500
  • Books and supplies - $300

NOTE: These costs are estimates based on exchange rates at time of publication, and are subject to change.

*Personal expenses are based on student feedback, and vary dramatically based on individual spending habits. Estimated personal expenses include items such as food, personal travel, clothing, etc.

Application Deadlines

Study abroad applicants must schedule an appoint with a study abroad advisor the semester before the application deadline, or two semesters/one year before planning to be abroad. Application information will be provided at this meeting. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted, and retrospective credit will not be granted.

  • Fall semester application deadline - February 15
  • Spring semester application deadline - September 15

Important Information

For more information about this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office at (508) 793-7363 or

Any information on this page is subject to change.